Danny Litwhiler - 1951 Bowman

Daniel Webster Litwhiler (1916-2011) made much more of an impact on the game of baseball than his 11-year Major League career suggests contributing more than 100 inventions to the improvement of the game. Danny began playing baseball in his tiny town of Ringtown, Pennsylvania and, along with his brother Woody, stood out as stars for their respective high school teams. With opportunities to play minor league baseball were relatively scarce in rural Ringtown, which boasted under 1,000 residents as of the year 2000, Litwhiler pursued a college education at Bloomsburg State Teachers College, earning a teaching certificate while leading the school’s baseball team. He eventually caught of with the Charleroi Tigers in 1936 and began working his way through the minor league system, while teaching in the off-season. The promising outfielder received accolades at virtually every stop in the farm leagues and was ultimately signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1940. Appearing in 36 games in 1940, Litwhiler batted .345 and followed that success in 1941, his first full season in left field, with his best year statistically, collecting 180 hits, 18 home runs and 66 RBI while batting .305 – all career highs for a full year. While with the lowly Phils, Litwhiler was one of the team’s highlights during the 1942 season as he became the first player in Major League history to post an errorless season. He credits the fact that he stitched the fingers of his glove together for more stability also the first time in history that any player had used such a mitt. Danny’s errorless streak lasted 187 games. After three years in Philly, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Danny to which he helped the Redbirds win the 1943 and 1944 National League pennants and the 1944 World Series over the cross-town Browns.

He played 2-1/2 years in the Gateway City (1943-1944, 1946) and spent 1945 serving in the United States Army during World War II before landing with the Boston Braves upon his return. In 1947, he was present for one of the most historic Opening Days in any sports history as the Brooklyn Dodgers introduced Jackie Robinson to an Ebbets Field crowd and the world as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. In Boston, now a wily veteran, Litwhiler was asked to pose for a photograph with Jackie Robinson as Braves management sought to quash and upheaval that might occur. He played for the Braves for three seasons (1946-1948) and finished his career with the Cincinnati Reds (1948-1951). Over the course of his 11-year career, Danny Litwhiler accumulated 982 hits including 107 home runs, 428 runs and 451 RBI as he batted .281 for his career. Inspired by the coaching techniques of former manager Billy Southworth, Litwhiler became the head baseball coach at Florida State University; where, using his style of “Teach baseball and then win” helped him post a 189-91 record over nine years. He led the Seminoles to three College World Series. In 1963, he took over as head coach for the Michigan State University Spartans and led them to two Big Ten titles and compiled a school record of 488-362 over 19 seasons.

His contributions to baseball, however, were more than the talented men he taught, but his more than inventions have helped better the game. Litwhiler was the first player to use a glove with connected fingers; he developed the Jugs Gun –a radar gun used to clock the speed of pitchers – the original of which is housed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY; he created an “unbreakable mirror” that could withstand a 100 mph fastball allowing pitchers to watch their delivery; he also invented “Diamond Dust” – a dirt and clay mixture designed to absorb moisture quickly from baseballs in wet conditions, but the mixture was so effective it was ultimately used ton the playing field itself to soak up water on the infields following rain delays; he also developed a instructional bunting bat, weighted balls and catcher’s mitts and batting tees as well as numerous drills that Major Leaguers use today. In 1958, the State Department sent Litwhiler to Europe to help develop the game of baseball in Italy, Holland and Spain and he was eventually named the International President of the United States Baseball Federation (1977-1982). He was instrumental in bringing baseball to the Olympic games. Danny Litwhiler was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the American Association of College Coaches Hall of Fame.  



Condition Census (Explain)

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 GEM MT 10
1 GEM MT 10
2 MINT 9 (9)

AUCTION PRICES REALIZED

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
10/07/2009 $1,752 9 542 Mile High Card Company October 2009 Auction Auction 14442185
05/10/2015 $289 9 300 Memory Lane, Inc. Spring Break 2015 Auction Auction 90096867
01/05/2016 $265 9 396 Mile High Card Company January 2016 Auction 90096867
11/11/2018 $358 9 142997902626 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 29023487
12/18/2018 $204 9 143044690893 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 16059139
03/14/2017 $123 8.5 262885555591 eBay sports-cards-forever Auction 17628529
09/20/2013 $66 8 73 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 90 Auction 21867001
10/29/2015 $48 8 63 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 145 - Ends 10/29/15 Auction 24719879
05/29/2016 $36 8 45022 Heritage Auctions Sunday Internet Sports Collectibles Auction May 29, 2016 Auction 18869029
12/05/2016 $39 8 401232317663 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 40525943
11/24/2017 $44 8 222 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 199 - Ends 11/24/17 Auction 28135111
01/24/2018 $50 8 301392712424 eBay vintagesportscardsonline Buy It Now 40418529
01/31/2018 $35 8 352227210355 eBay hhm224 Buy It Now 90484919
05/10/2018 $49 8 352342741174 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 11458523
06/11/2018 $34 8 142817869505 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 40487822
10/15/2018 $50 8 401612219261 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 11994971
05/29/2019 $32 8 143259056888 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 05314556
08/15/2017 $19 7.5 382189504732 eBay probstein123 Auction 20585644
11/17/2016 $16 7 162276635743 eBay bigjake2 Auction 12220790
04/10/2017 $15 7 352019383755 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 12031224
07/17/2017 $19 7 162594224162 eBay cooperstownsportscards Buy It Now 40446086
11/09/2017 $18 7 67 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 198 - Ends 11/9/17 Auction 11961686
11/23/2017 $24 7 162613791619 eBay m.sassin Buy It Now 90441064
12/07/2017 $16 7 178 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 200 - Ends 12/7/17 Auction 28135088
04/22/2018 $20 7 183190924258 eBay keycardsports Buy It Now 07207023
07/22/2018 $32 7 202358138092 eBay kelduscas Buy It Now 28426817
09/03/2018 $16 7 253835238581 eBay seasaltowl Auction 60037722
01/14/2019 $33 7 352560551964 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 14237952
04/04/2019 $25 7 322944706142 eBay krch10 Best Offer 28135088
05/09/2019 $28 7 108 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 237 - Ends 5/9/19 Auction 04013519
05/23/2019 $19 7 117 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 238 - Ends 5/23/19 Auction 42617661
10/02/2019 $19 7 362766144838 eBay probstein123 Auction 30047063
02/25/2019 $13 6.5 143138017693 eBay robimille-wmibu0 Auction 41080735
11/14/2013 $11 6 100 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 94 - Ends 11/14 Auction 90320810
10/27/2016 $17 6 37 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 171 - Ends 10/27/16 Auction 31557231
05/15/2018 $7 6 282181871371 eBay edpro-mold Best Offer 12045224
06/22/2018 $6 6 113066970483 eBay mkmahaney Auction 27125108
04/21/2019 $9 6 223482195894 eBay columbiacomics Auction 12045224
08/12/2019 $12 6 143345629611 eBay pwcc_auctions Auction 40507801
01/21/2017 $5 5 282305220617 eBay browndog23 Auction 25924245
05/21/2017 $11 5 232304933269 eBay comc_consignment Buy It Now 01467597
01/12/2018 $8 5 352249665647 eBay spaceman1958 Auction 14213787
04/02/2019 $8 5 183749245743 eBay jrscollectibles03 Auction 24994883
07/09/2019 $11 5 223455992876 eBay cljcards Best Offer 30434133
07/31/2018 $14 4 352311662543 eBay bakendave Buy It Now 28565764
09/01/2016 $5 3 70 Sirius Sports Auctions Sirius Sports Cards Auction # 167 - Ends 9/1/16 Auction 24922828